The complexity of warehouse operations in the past decade has increased, thanks to rapid technological changes and the ascending demand for better products and services. Managing these intricate processes requires precise and comprehensive analytics.
Without such analytics providing measurable impact-oriented insights, business leaders are likely to struggle with limited visibility and ineffective data, making it difficult for them to make informed decisions.
How can you collect and use in-house data to optimize your warehouse operations? In this blog, we outline the top five ways data and analytics in warehouse management will help you streamline your processes:
- Operational improvement
One of the primary reasons businesses invest in data analytics is to get actionable insights. In the context of warehouse management, such critical analysis can help make data-driven decisions to enhance shipments, improve inventory management, keep track of workforce productivity, and streamline crucial aspects of warehouse management. While data shortage may not be a challenge, ensuring you collect the data from a reliable source to generate insightful reports is vital.
These analytical reports (mostly reports updated with real-time data) help the leadership gauge crucial warehouse KPIs' status and make improvements where needed.
- Integrate data from various functions
By connecting and leveraging data from multiple systems across the organization, you can considerably improve operational efficiency. For instance, you can integrate insights from other processes like order management, resource planning, or transportation management to efficiently schedule shipments and staff shifts, measure volume(s), and manage storage. This kind of integrated data will help you with enhanced visibility, especially when preparing for seasonality and the introduction of new products or promotions.
- Leverage automation
Warehouse management analytics help you identify functions that consume a lot of time and cause processing errors due to manual work. You can introduce automation into these critical functions to shorten the process cycle time, save costs and improve efficiency. Automation will also help you generate more usable data about critical processes that can benefit overall warehouse operations.
- Manage inventory demand
Distribution and fulfillment centers worldwide are increasingly relying on predictive analytics generated from existing fulfillment data to make their inventory operations more efficient. By analyzing historical data sets in real-time, you can now determine the similarities in current order profiles and accurately gauge the timing and size of inbound and outbound inventory volume. You can leverage warehouse management analytics to optimize inventory and storage better and improve customer demographics and inventory demand management. With the right technology, your leadership team can get crucial information about numerous inventory and warehouse management aspects with a few clicks.
- Optimize physical locations
Your inventory processes will run seamlessly only when you optimize your physical locations. In the absence of complete and usable data, managing physical warehouses can be cumbersome. Most advanced analytics solutions now are AI-infused—allowing users to receive intelligent suggestions about item locations in the warehouse. For instance, AI can recommend the relocation of a few items in the warehouse or co-locate a group of items that are generally ordered together. Such suggestions increase speed, improve efficiency, and save costs.
To streamline your warehouse and distribution operations, you need to first identify the most opportune areas of improvement. The correct data and analytics solution will help you address your unique business requirements and make the most of your data. It will also enable your business to become more data-driven and optimize your decision-making process.